In a twist of events, it’s been revealed that the SEC chair Gary Gensler previously offered to serve as an advisor to a Binance parent company in 2019.
This is according to lawyers for Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao.
According to CNBC, documents filed by the SEC on Wednesday show that attorneys from Gibson Dunn and Latham & Watkins – two of Binance’s law firms – allege that Gensler offered to serve as an advisor to the crypto exchange in multiple March 2019 conversations with Binance chiefs and CZ. According to the filing, he eventually met CZ in Japan for lunch later that month.
In March 2019, Gensler was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management teacher. He was appointed head of the SEC in 2021 by Joe Biden.
Since then, Gensler has been the humourless face of the ever-increasing crypto crackdown. This week, the crypto community has been hit with Binance and Coinbase legal suits that are now set to drag on indefinitely.
The Wall Street Journal has previously reported on Gensler and Binance’s relationship, revealing internal Binance messages and a person close to the SEC chair. They both suggested that Binance approached Gensler.
The reports go on to say that Gibson and Latham attorneys claim that CZ continued to stay in touch with Gensler after the March meeting. And at Gensler’s request, Zhao sat down for an interview with him as part of a crypto course he was teaching at MIT.
CZ’s lawyers now say that the Zhao understood that Gensler was “comfortable serving as an informal advisor”.
Gensler testified in July of that year over Facebook’s now-defunct cryptoLibra and planned Calibra wallet.
“I do not advise any financial, technology, blockchain or other companies, nor do I own any cryptocurrencies,” Gensler’s prepared testimony read.
CNBC further reports, because of Gensler’s ties to CZ, Binance’s lawyers have asked for his recusal from any actions regarding the company. They say they got no acknowledgement from SEC staff.